January 29, 2022

*Note to would-be commenters: Be a responsible citizen here. Do not post comments that are argumentative, hostile, or uncivil. This blog is for evangelical Christians; others are welcome to ask questions to understand evangelical Christianity. But this is not a discussion board; do not use it to post your own views unless they are directly related to what I have written. Keep your comments brief and to the point. Do not post any links or pictures. Do not quote extensively... Read more

January 24, 2022

On Not Throwing the Baby out with the Bathwater 1 Thessalonians 5:19-20 A few years ago I must have said “We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” once too often because when I said it the whole class burst out laughing. That’s okay; one thing I know about myself is I’m funniest when I’m not trying to be. I confess it.  I do like that rustic saying—”Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”  It very well describes... Read more

January 21, 2022

*Note to would-be commenters: Don’t expect your comment to be published here if it is argumentative or hostile. Keep it calm and dialogical—open to discussion as opposed to argument* Should Polygamy Be De-criminalized? This morning I watched a documentary on Youtube about a teenage boy who fled his family, church and community and is not able to see any of his relatives or friends, including his father and siblings. He was born into and raised in a “fundamentalist Mormon” church... Read more

January 20, 2022

What Is “Christianity?” An Addendum to the Preceding Post… Before I add to my immediately preceding blog post to clarify my meaning of “Christianity,” allow me to remind potential commenters about the “rules of the road” here. First of all, this is not a discussion board; it is a safe place for evangelical Christians to discuss what it means to be an evangelical Christian and it is intended as a place for me to express my opinions, answer questions, and... Read more

January 18, 2022

Why Traditional Religion Is Dwindling in America I have often wondered why church attendance in America is decreasing and why so many Americans seem not to feel any need of traditional Christianity. Throughout much of the twentieth century the majority of Americans were “God-fearing, Bible-believing, church-attending” Christians even if they didn’t live out true Christianity in their everyday lives. But a large segment of Americans seemed to believe they needed salvation and they turned out to hear evangelists like Billy... Read more

January 14, 2022

Does the Doctrine of the Trinity Matter? I have argued here several times that doctrine matters because God cares what we think and say about him. This is contrary to what some American Christians think. They (some) think a doctrine doesn’t matter unless it has some practical application. Over my many years of studying and teaching Christian theology I have heard numerous times, from Christians, that the doctrine of the Trinity does not matter. How well I remember on colleague... Read more

January 11, 2022

*Below you will find what some blog readers (and others) have requested–a model Statement of Faith of a Christian community. I wrote this for the seminary where I taught for 22 years–at the request of the then seminary dean. The faculty voted to approve it as the official Statement of Faith of the seminary. I make no claims about this statement of faith other than it is an example of one. This follows the previous blog post here about the... Read more

January 10, 2022

Why Doctrine Matters This is Part Three of a series that began with Why Theology Matters. The second installment was about “systematic theology” and whether it matters. I don’t know how many installments this series has or where it is going, exactly. It doesn’t even have a title! So stay tuned… How many times have I heard “Doctrine divides; Jesus unites!?” The sentiment is not always expressed in those words, but it remains the same, even in other words. But... Read more

January 7, 2022

*The following is a guest blog post by my former student and now pastor Ross Shelton. I do not expect Ross to respond to questions or comments; that is up to him to decide. If you decide comment, please make sure your comment is civil, respectful, relatively brief, and shows that you read the whole essay. Do not misrepresent it or use it as a springboard for your own sermon or essay. If you agree, say why concisely. If you... Read more

January 6, 2022

But Does Systematic Theology Matter? So, then, it’s settled that theology matters. (See the immediately preceding blog post.) Theology matters because God cares what we think and say about him. But another question emerges: Does systematic theology matter? Let me explain the question. “Theology” can mean a lot of things. One variety of “theology” is what is commonly known as “systematic theology”—a particular subcategory of what Germans call Dogmatics. Dogmatics is any relatively comprehensive exposition of Christian doctrine. But not... Read more

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